Aug 25, 2014 5:57pm
Why is Internet Archive applying censorship by deleting videos using make_dark.php?
A lot of talk has been going on over on Twitter about how Internet Archive has been starting to censor Jihadi videos. Apparently, Christopher Butler in Archive has been the one using the make_dark.php operation to remove or hide download pages with videos pertaining to the Islamic State, particularly the recent videos "Upon the Prophetic Methodology" and "A Message to America."
This is quite surprising as for many years, Internet Archive has been allowing Jihadi videos to remain on their servers. You particularly state on your terms and conditions that:
"Because the content of the Collections comes from around the world and from many different sectors, the Collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, disturbing..."
That is from:https://archive.org/about/terms.php
and also in the Iraq War: Non-English Language Videos sectionhttps://archive.org/details/iraq_middleeast
you state that:
"The Internet Archive has not reviewed these videos for content, but we have included them here in order to preserve as complete a record as possible of the worldwide views concerning current events in the Middle East."
"These items have not been reviewed for content. Some items contain images of graphic violence, or appear to explicitly encourage violent acts against certain groups or individuals. They may also include inappropriate language."
So it is very peculiar why Mr. Butler has been taking his liberty in removing these videos. From the relevant history pages, it can be seen that he has even been spending his Sundays (24 August) deleting some videos.
On Twitter, we have discussed and identified several download pages that he has applied make_dark.php to, and he might have done it to others. Here are the ones we have found that he has tampered with:
Upon the Prophetic Methodologyhttps://archive.org/details/Min_0https://archive.org/details/mnhj_7lang
A Message to Americahttps://archive.org/details/a100_mtahttps://archive.org/details/rslh_2mrkhttps://archive.org/details/rslh-amrkhttps://archive.org/details/mst123
If there are any others, can you please make sure he promptly applies "make_undark.php" to return them all and any other download pages he has removed.
It would be very sad to see the Internet Archive devolve into an arena of censorship, whether be it from pressure from the government, or even worse, purposeful censorship from inside Internet Archive.
Thanks a lot and I trust you will take appropriate steps to make sure the Internet Archive stays at the same standards that we have been used to.